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Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cupcake Cake!

I was asked by a Family member to make a cupcake cake. 
Now I have made five tiered cakes, fondant cakes, cupcake towers but never in my life have I made a cupcake cake! It was the first cake that made me a little nervous. Whenever I make things I want them to be perfect and the fear of the unknown got to me on this one! That and the nightmare of the toppled Wedding Cake. Did I ever share that with you? Well here's a little story for you...
My first born Nephew was getting married. He and his beautiful  Fiance' asked me to make the cake. While I usually decline, I love all of my Nephews and Nieces to death and I accepted.
The cake was an easy design and went together flawlessly. No sweating over uneven layers, the wrong consistency of icing or anything! I marveled over the fact that it was the easiest Wedding cake that I had ever assembled…
The day of the Wedding I went to the Hotel to help get the Flowergirls dressed and help my Sister, the Mother of the Groom with her hair. I assigned Mr. Tickled Pink the task of transporting the cake as he had done many times before. Something felt off about this transport from the beginning though, I paced the Hotel room and had a huge knot in my stomach as I waited for him to pick me up. He assured me that the cake was fine and he would be there any minute even though he oh so casually admitted he didn't place the cake on the non slip mat that I transport cakes on. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I tried to calm myself down. I mentally went over the cake construction in my mind, I used the most secure stacking system, it was a short trip to the venue etc. but I just couldn't shake the terror. What I didn't notice as I rushed over and pulled into the Hotel in the morning was the steep hill. Mr Tickled Pink pulled up, I inspected the cake and got in the front seat. As we pulled up the sharp hill I had a panic attack, I looked back and the cake stood tall in all it's glory ready to take center stage. I breathed a sigh of relief and refastened my seat belt, and then…. Mr Tickled Pink uttered the words I never want to hear again. "Uh oh, that didn't sound good" I was hyperventilating before I could even turn around. When I finally did the Five tier perfect cake was smashed all over the back hatch door. I heaved loud sobs as he navigated the traffic to try to pull over. There was no point though it was ruined. We pulled up to the venue with the Wedding party outside, me crying hysterically and a five tier smashed cake in the back of our SUV. My Nephew and his Wife could not have been more sweet trying to settle me down. My Sister and a carried it into the kitchen, washed our hands and literally took handfuls of icing to pack on the bottom layer. We placed the succulence that had once trailed down the side of the cake in a perfect pattern all over the top of the cake to try to conceal the mess. We put the cake table in a corner and placed the only remaining part of the cake that was half way together towards the front. Actually, looking at it from the front you wouldn't have noticed that the whole back of the tier was missing. It was enough for them to get a picture cutting the cake. Although, every time I saw guests walk up to look at the cake I couldn't help but see the funny side of it. What must they have been thinking….. Boy, I guess they really had to skimp on the cake since the Decorations and the whole wedding was so beautiful. So that is my cake disaster story, I swore I would never bake again that day. As they say, time heals all wounds or more like it once crazy always crazy and I have never stopped baking. haaaaa
I accepted the challenge for the cupcake cake.
I always find when there is a lot of icing required for the project I'm much less stressed if I make it ahead of time. That I did! I whipped together a pound of butter, two cups of shortening, two bags of confectionary sugar, 2 tablespoons of meringue powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and whole milk until creamy. If you have never added meringue powder to your buttercream Icing I highly recommend it! Also always use whole full fat milk. With butter and shortening it's no time to try to cut fat and calories using low fat milk! The full fat content of the milk gives the icing the creamy 
texture, I think the meringue, besides making it creamier, also cut the sweetness a bit so it's not overwhelming. I learned a lot from Edna De La Cruz about icing. She is on youtube and also has a cake blog. She is kind and responds to questions so please be sure to look her up!
I baked 24 white cupcakes and 24 chocolate ones. I did find that the 13" x 19" cake board was not large enough to get the correct design of the dress so I put it on a larger art canvas that I covered with clear cling wrap.
When I went to place the cupcakes in the pattern I just couldn't get it. It look uneven and off. My Daughter {A} has a knack for figuring out patterns and her touch of OCD when it comes to projects was just what I needed! I sent her a picture and she immediately wrote back, start with rows of c's or I guess u's depending on how you look at it! Once I did that each cupcake went right into the pattern.
Once you have the pattern aligned you just use a star tip to make a rosette on each cupcake. You will have spaces between where they don't meet, just squirt icing down in the space and make a rosette on top.
I loved how it turned out and I have been thinking of other patterns to do.
So the next time you need something kind of different for your Birthday party or Bridal Shower try this!
My first attempt…

My Second…

After the phone call to A!

Iced with rosettes…

And the Final product with A requested pink sash!

I would love to see photos if you make one! Now go out and have a Tickled Pink Day!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Happy Birthday Mommala!

It's hard to believe that my Mommala celebrated her 80th Birthday this year!
A few words about my Mom first. No one could ask for a better one. All four of us Children are blessed with the most loving, funny, compassionate, beautiful Mom. I can still remember hanging onto her and crying as she dropped me off for Kindergarten. Who could blame me? I got to be with her while my older siblings were off at school. Just Mom and I shopping, visiting Aunts and Cousins and occasionally stopping at the little store in the Neighborhood where I could pick out a treat without having to share with anyone!
As we grew up there are many more great memories. Want to glue magazine pictures to your bedroom wall to create a giant collage? NO PROBLEM! Oh, you want to take paint and draw pictures all over your walls and in your closet? Have at it, I'll take you to buy the paint! I'm not so sure Dad was always on the same page but Mom was never one to stifle our creativity! She knew the paint could be covered, the pictures removed and she was the one that always turned it back to a presentable wall. Our house was where everyone hung out. We always had Friends from all four of us kids hanging around, eating dinner or even going on Vacation with us. Why? Because we had those kind of Parents. We had a Mom that everyone loved and a Dad that never turned anyone away from his table.
We couldn't let this wonderful occasion pass without throwing a party to celebrate this wonderful occasion.
My Sisters and Nieces all got together to start planning the event, the one thing that we knew for sure that it would be Winter themed. Mommala has been a life long lover of snowy, icy days. 
I received a text one day from her oldest Granddaughter that read... when I think of Grandma I think of 
toasting with Kummel
Her German~Hungarian heritage
The magic of Winter (if she could she would make Christmas last forever)
That was all that we needed! It sums up my Mommala to a t!
I found champagne colored glitter trees that lit up to decorate the 
tables in the main room. We decorated each tree with glass sparkle snowflakes and icicles  We ordered silvery rosette table runners for the dinner tables to top wintry white tablecloths. My Sister and I got to work making flowers out of coffee filters. We made a ton of them and then sprayed them with glue and heavily glittered them with Martha's fine glitter. We filled the vases with sparkle "snow" and inserted silver glitter branches, real pieces of evergreen and of course the flowers. We lightly sprinkled the fine glitter on the top of each table to give a shimmering of glitter under the lights. My Husband got a large box of Esther Price candies, my other Sister and I made our traditional cookies that we arranged on white doilies on silver trays to scatter around the room.  I made her a chocolate tiered cake iced with butter cream and decorated with edible glitter! I of course had to top it with a white sparkle deer and snowflakes, two of her favorite things. Mom loves to do scratch off tickets and spoils us with her Show Down dealing skills! LOL. She deals and the winner gets to pick jewelry prizes out of a bag that she fills through out the year! Who couldn't love that?! So when the ideas for party favors were being tossed around, my Niece came up with the idea of rolling lottery tickets as scrolls. We then attached them to a real evergreen that was sparkling with glittery white lights.
It turned out to be a beautiful night! Everyone showed up that was invited, her Sisters and Brother (my much loved Aunties that I speak of often here) Nieces, Nephews, our childhood Friends, Friends that have become like Family over the years. It was so wonderful to see all the lives that she has touched that came to celebrate.
Mom, thank you. Thank you for being the most wonderful Mom anyone could ever ask for. Thank you for always, no matter how old we get, being there unconditionally for each of your Children. You have also passed that loving, caring spirit to each of your Grandchildren and now each of your Great Grandchildren who get so excited when they get to go visit Great Grandma!
We look forward to many more memories to make with you.
We love you.

To many more happy years Mommala...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dressed to Party Crochet Pattern...

It's that time of year, my FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR! Along with the Christmas music and white lights covering every inch of my House I am on my mad dash to finish shopping.
My Niece suggested a bottle of her Boyfriend's favorite spirits since I got his name in the gift exchange. I couldn't just give him a bottle in a bag so I searched the Internet for something cute.
This is what I found, a crochet pattern for a hat and scarf to tie festively around the bottle! What a perfect way to use the little bits of scrap yarn that I have from all of my other projects! They work up quickly and make an otherwise plain gift into a cute bottle of cheer!
The pattern will follow the pictures!

Dressed to Party Crochet Hat and Scarf for Bottles

Chain 2, 6 sc in 2nd chain from hook.Do not join, work in continuous rounds
SC IN each sc around. 12 sc
(SC in first sc, 2 sc in next) 6 times. - 18 sc
ROUND 4, 5 and 6
SC In each sc around
ROUNDS 7-8 Sc in each sc around. At the end of round 9 Slip stitch into beginning.


Chain 4.

ROW 1 
Sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each a crossed. -3sc

Ch 1. sc in each chain a crossed 

ROW 3 AND UNTIL DESIRED LENGTH (I did 16 rows) repeat row 2. Fasten and tie off end.

Amazingly easy and adorable!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Chocolate Bars and Angels...

What? JULY was the last time that I posted on my blog?!
How can that be?
Do you ever feel that time is passing so quickly that you blink and months have swept by?
My days are filled with cutting petals and making roses. Our business continues to grow and sometimes I feel like I see the women at the fabric and craft store more than my own family LOL We were just contacted by a boutique in New York that is interested in carrying are headbands and accessories!
We have a "hired"our first employee thank you Momala! She saved me hours of work by cutting stacks of satin into circles. Momala, do you mind if your salary is diet pop on demand and an occasional lunch? Mr. tickled pink has requested that I at least keep a pathway so he can wade his way through stacks of lace, rhinestones and pearls! The only time he really complained is when he almost had a small mishap the other day. He had come to sit next to me on the couch to show me something on his phone, how was I suppose to know that my scissors had slipped between the cushions! I told him to count his blessings since they were blade side down! Some how he didn't see the humor in that.
My house has been slightly neglected but it does look pretty covered in assorted roses and mountains of glitter LOL!
When my great Nieces were home for a visit I had them model for us. It usually cost me a handful of candy or part of a chocolate bar. One day when I was getting ready to leave, Mia the three year old, said "Aunt Michele, Bring some more of those headbands tomorrow I will wear them for you if you give me candy!Which was quickly followed by "wait let's make it gum...yes, if you bring gum I will wear your headbands and let you take my picture!" Haaaaaa How could I possibly pass up that offer? The next day I came armed with sugarless gum and got beautiful pictures of the little Angels!
I'm sharing the pictures that make them look so Angelic, what you don't see is the chasing, pleading and mountains of wet wipes to remove the chocolate that goes with our photo shoots!

I love using nature as my inspiration so I couldn't help but slip one of our handmade roses in with fresh ivory ones that I had picked up at the store...

My goal is to get back here more often, especially with the Holidays quickly approaching.
Until we meet again,
Have a tickled pink day!